In a top-class final, he took the first set 9-2 against Chelmsford’s James Rippey before Rippey hit back to take the second set 7-4. Thus it came down to a tie break and Chestney, after winning end one, surprised everyone in the arena by trying to hit a bare jack on end 2. He missed with his first bowl, but his second attempt struck the jack off the side of the rink. Rippey drew close to the respot, and this time Chestney drew onto the front of the jack. Rippey’s attempt at a match-saving draw snagged on a short bowl. It was an enthralling finish to a marvellous day of bowls.
In the semi-finals, Chestney beat Norfolk’s Rebecca Willgress (nee Field) in a tight match on a tiebreak while Rippey shared one-sided sets with Ely’s Andy Ware before taking the tie-break 2-0. Chestney was one of a host of the country’s top bowlers displaying their skills to a full venue. His journey from Devon was the furthest and others came from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire with a strong contingent from Norfolk.
Disappointingly local interest ended in the first round with Mark Royal, Katherine Rednall (2017 winner), Alan Blowers and Dan Poole all missing out.
Mark won his second set 9-0 but the tie-break went against him.
Katherine narrowly lost her first set then a tied second set was not enough.
Last month’s World Bowls finalist Simon Skelton from Nottingham also had a short day. He had a brilliant contest with 2018 winner Mathew Orrey (Spalding). Orrey took the first set by a single shot then recovered in the second to tie the scores and win the match. Orrey’s hopes ended in a quarter-final tie-break with Chestney.
The quality of the competitors was astounding, made possible by the efforts of Mark Royal and by local sponsors including Pro-Flat, GL Cars, Towergate Insurance, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, Greene King and Armstrongs Funeral Service.
First round: James Rippey beat Dan Poole 7-3, 8-5; Andrew Ware beat Katherine Rednall 6-4, 5-5; Ellen Falkner beat Jamie Walker 10-5, 0-8, 2-1; Tom Segolo beat Mark Royal 7-5, 0-9, 2-0; Wayne Willgress beat Tom Doig 9-7, 6-2; Jamie Chestney beat Alan Blowers 6-5, 9-0; Mathew Orrey beat Simon Skelton 8-7, 6-6; Rebecca Willgress beat Jake Lesley 6-5, 4-7 2-0. Quarter Final: James Rippey beat Wayne Willgress 6-2, 6-5; Andrew Ware beat Ellen Falkner 9-0, 7-3; Jamie Chestney beat Mathew Orrey 4-6, 8-1, 2-0; Rebecca Willgress beat Tom Segolo 7-2, 9-4.
Semi-Final: James Rippey beat Andrew Ware 2-12, 11-2, 2-0; Jamie Chestney beat Rebecca Willgress 6-5, 5-8, 2-0.
Final: Jamie Chestney beat James Rippey 9-2, 4-7, 2-0.